Barcelona woes of no joy to Ancelotti

Getty Images

WATCH every LaLiga match LIVE & EXCLUSIVE on beIN SPORTS | available via Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV and beIN SPORTS CONNECT

Barca has managed just two wins from its opening five LaLiga games of the season and was beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League last week.

The pressure is mounting on head coach Ronald Koeman after Friday's (AEST) stalemate with Cadiz, a result that leaves the Catalan giant down in seventh place.

LaLiga leader Madrid is already seven points better off than Barca, albeit having played one more game, but Ancelotti is only concerned about his own side's performances.

"I'm not happy if a team has a bad time," he said at a news conference previewing Madrid's home match with Villarreal on Sunday (AEST).

"I focus only on my team. If things don't go well for another team, be it Barca or another, It doesn't make me happy."

Madrid's thumping 6-1 win over Real Mallorca on Thursday (AEST) moved it two points clear of reigning champion Atletico Madrid at the summit ahead of the visit of Villarreal.

Los Blancos are now unbeaten in 24 league games, which is their longest such run since going 28 without defeat between March 2016 and January 2017.

Marco Asensio scored a hat-trick against his former side in that most recent match, while Karim Benzema claimed a double and provided two assists.

Benzema has now been directly involved in 15 LaLiga goals this season, surpassing former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo (14) for the most of any player in the Spanish top flight this century after six games.

The France international turns 34 in December, but Ancelotti feels the prolific striker is only getting better with age.

Asked if Benzema is a contender for the Ballon d'Or award, Ancelotti said: "Because of what he's doing and has done, he has to be on the shortlist.

"But Karim still has time to win it. This will not be his last season. He's like wine – it gets better with time."

Thanks to the form of Benzema, Madrid has scored 21 goals after six LaLiga matches – its best tally at this stage since 1987-1988 when registering 26 goals.

The capital club has not been as strong defensively, though, with only seven teams in the division having conceded more goals than the eight Madrid has let in.

With that in mind, Ancelotti believes there is still more to come from his side.

"The players are doing well. I have to be honest, we have focused a lot on the defensive side of our game because that needed the most improvement," he said.

"It's difficult to have a high line if there is no pressure on the ball. If there is no pressure we defend with a low block. 

"We'd like to have a line in the centre of the pitch, but it's not always possible.

"I was satisfied with the Mallorca game compared to our previous match against Valencia, but you quickly have to focus on what can be improved."

Ancelotti also revealed Eden Hazard has "trained well" this week but could not guarantee the forward, who was an unused substitute against Mallorca, would feature this weekend.

Madrid has lost just one of its 21 home LaLiga matches against Villarreal, winning 15 of those and drawing the other five.

Villarreal has therefore lost 71.4 per cent of their away matches against Los Blancos, which is its highest percentage against any opponent with at least two games played on the road.


>